November Update #1


Let's all take a moment today to remember those who have served our great country as well the families and friends who stayed behind.  While we are often challenged, we are still free, thanks to to the men and women who made a difference.

There are still seats available for the Camera and Photography 101 workshop coming up next Sunday November 18th.  The workshop is designed to bring together the elements that go into an image and how you manage them on your personal camera.  It's very hands-on so you should bring your camera with you.   Email me at to register.

Our final meeting of the year is on Tuesday November 27th.  In addition to our shared images, we will have a presentation by Amina Mohamed on her trip to Uganda and a tutorial on using greens screen techniques in photography.  As it is our last meeting, members are encouraged to bring either treats to share, or food bank ready goods.  Any treats left over will go along with the food bank items to Inn From the Cold, the charity that we support every year.  This year I am adding food bank items, because while we always have extra treats, it might be nice to also offer foodstuffs that will not go bad in a couple of days.

Our themes this month are Seasonal Shifts and Closer Than You Think.  We already have some great submissions, but the show improves with your own submission.

We have had a great level of acceptance to our new member's conversation system.  Folks are on the site everyday and new content is readily being posted.  We did have a surprise challenge a week ago, when the mobile app was updated which prevented access from mobile devices for about six hours.  Thanks to Gordon who let me know and the issue was resolved very quickly once I was made aware of the problem.  If you have not yet accepted your invitation, please consider doing so.

All the invites have now gone out, so if you cannot find yours, please let me know at and I will resend it.

Thanks kindly , more to come


October 2019 Meeting Reminder

Stoj rico7.jpg

Hello everyone,

Thanks to Lou Stojcevski for his shot of buddy Rico

Just a short reminder of our meeting coming up at 6:30pm on October 23rd.

The big deal at this meeting will be the print show.  Bring a print (or few) of your favourite images to share with the membership.  No contests, no presentation limitations just your favourite prints to share with your peers and to chat about.  You've all been making great images over the course of the year, so why not show your friends at the club the work that you like the best.

I'm looking forward to this very much indeed.

Submissions for this month's themes are still a bit light, so please submit your images for the slide show this weekend so that I can include them in the show for the meeting.

I have implemented a replacement for Google Plus and I will be going through the new Member's Conversation service at the meeting.  It's very easy to use, but if you want to see the live tutorial, please come out.  Following the meeting, all members who receive this email will receive an invitation to join the new service.  It will be completely private and access will be by invitation only.  So no worries about sellers or bad actors or image thieves.  It's much more powerful than Google Plus ever was.  As always with any new service that uses batch email, check your JUNK folder to be sure that you do not miss your invitation.

While there were costs involved in getting the system installed and running, I am very happy to announce that I was able to make this happen without any changes to the membership fees that have already been announced.  More services for the same cost sounds pretty good to me.

We will begin accepting membership dues for the 2019 year at this meeting.  Dues are $50 per person, cash only.  You do not need to pay your dues at the meeting if not convenient.  All dues will be required by the January meeting, the same as every year.

I hope to be able to cover the top updates in the latest Photoshop CC releases at the meeting, time permitting.  There are not a lot of changes in Lightroom Classic CC so I will touch on whatever of those are really significant.

Thanks kindly , more to come


Leaving Google Plus

Jeff_Ibbotson Gourd Delight-100.jpg

Hello everyone,

Thanks to Jeff Ibbotson for his Gourd Delight image.

As you may have learned by now, Google has decided to shutter their Google Plus service.  This news came out on October 8th.  No end date has as yet been published formally but expectations are sooner rather than later.

About a month ago, I asked if members were interested in a similar forum / sharing option that would still be secure and still be private.  A few folks responded saying that they wanted the service to continue and did not have a preference as to where it was.  I want to bring you up to date on where I am with this.

The problem with free services, including those provided by social media hosts, is that they can change or disappear on the decision of the hosting party.  There is no service guarantee or service level agreement.  Most of them are sustained by targeted advertising that use cookies and other tools to gather information about you and to hit you with targeted ads both on the site and elsewhere.  While some people don't care, I hate this and will not go this route again.

I have been looking at forum style tools that will support easy image sharing, discussions and question and answer capabilities.  I am very close to decision on a paid service that will not hurt the club and that will be private.  All paid members will receive an email inviting you to join the new service when it goes live.

Only paid members will be able to access the service, ensuring your privacy and hopefully will reduce the load of applicants who are not members of our club, who ask daily to join for reasons unknown.

None of the content from Google Plus will be ported.  It's just not viable to do.  It will be a fresh start and I hope that what gets implemented will be used more widely than the current Google Plus offering has been.

I will keep everyone updated via the website and direct email as the change moves ahead.

Thanks kindly , more to come


May Meeting Plan / Nature Canada Annual Photo Contest

Hey gang,

The May meeting is only two weeks away and I am looking forward to seeing more challenge entries for Awakening and Spiral.  Some great ideas on the Google + page but please be sure to email a properly sized image for inclusion on the web site and in the meeting slide presentation.

Our tutorials this month will be on white balance and a hands-on (bring your camera) on making your first video.

The folks at Nature Canada wrote this week that they will be opening their second annual photo contest on May 19th.  They have promised to send the rules along shortly so I can share them with members.  Look for a post with more information to follow.

Also a final reminder of the open spots in this coming Sunday (may 17) Lightroom workshop.  Email me to book a seat if you want to attend and are not already confirmed.

Changes to the Meeting structure

Hello members!

Well August is done and we are into September.  We have attained incredible growth both in membership and in member participation in our monthly challenges.  In order to keep the meetings on track and on schedule, I am changing the meeting structure effective the September meeting.

Members enjoy the challenge review.  However, the last several months have resulted in reviews going well over an hour and a half and recently over two hours.  Feedback is that this is too long and forces a rush during the training activities.  I don't want meeting attendees burning out.  I've been looking for alternatives and have decided to implement a suggestion from Paul McLean, one of our first members.  

As we post every entry to the website, we will start the review with a slideshow of every submitted image, so members should feel free to continue submitting plenty of shots.  Following that we will focus our conversation on 10-12 images that we believe allow for the greatest level of discussion and learning opportunities around the challenge and that are fine examples of key photographic principles.

We will also start to shuffle the content blocks around a bit, perhaps starting with a training segment, then going on to the review, and then either another training, or Q&A or discussion session.

I know that some folks hate change, and I hope that these changes will not dissuade members from coming to meetings.  Given the feedback I am getting, I think that these changes will be positive, but if they don't work out, then we will try something else.

Thanks for your understanding and support.


Thanks to all who attended our meeting!

Hello all,

On behalf of Bryan and myself, thanks for investing your time to come out to the meeting March 27th.  Feedback has been positive and it's nice to hear that from you as it is not insignificant work making things happen.  I want to congratulate every submitter to the review and the monthly challenge for some truly wonderful work.  Nicely done!

Thanks kindly,

Ross and Bryan

February Challenge

As noted in last night's meeting, the photo challenge theme for February is "Shadow"

We are looking at ways to improve the usability of our Flickr site, so if you have Flickr skills and are willing to help, please contact

Our next meeting is February 28, 2012 at 6pm.  Please register as soon as you know you will be attending to ensure we have enough chairs and tables laid out.

Thanks for the incredible turnout!

Wow!  Bryan and were really impressed with the incredible turnout for our first meeting in our new location.  We'd also like to welcome all the new members who have joined recently and we hope you find membership worth your time.

We saw some really lovely photographs in the photo review and it was I think a very positive conversation.  We'll be working harder to streamline the approach so we see more photos and have them preloaded to ensure we not only get to as many as possible but also have the widest selection of member photographs for review.

Feedback on the two trainings was also very good.  I am glad that people enjoyed the better flash section and the short overview on speed retouching with Lightroom.  Do remember that other tools may offer you similar functionality.  I chose Lightroom because it is the cornerstone of my workflow, not to suggest that everyone standardize on it.

Thanks again, and please let us know what other topics you would like to see and learn about.

It's One Week...

With apologies to BNL, it's one week to our first meeting of 2012 to be held at our NEW meeting site at the Newmarket Community Centre.  Meeting starts at six pm and goes to nine pm.  So as a reminder since it has been SO LONG since we've seen each other...

1.  Please register if you have not already.  We really need a seat count, not that we will run out of space but to be sure we have enough chairs and tables.

2.  Bring your camera and be prepared to be in at least ONE photograph.  We will be taking a group photo and we would like all members to have a camera handy.  You may also get a chance to do some shots in one of the trainings.

3.  If you have not yet uploaded your challenge entries to Flickr for the December (Magic) and the January (New) photo challenges, please do so.  We have received lots of great entries and the Group Pool is really growing nicely.  Bryan will be figuring out how to subdivide the submissions by album (won't you Bryan) to make going through the challenge submissions easier.  Please read the post on submission guidelines for information on titling etc.

4.  We will start our meeting as always with the Photo Review and Bryan will lead this.  We will be allocating one hour for this section, so please let us know which photo you would like to discuss if you have (Hooray!) uploaded multiples.

5.  Our second session will be called Better Flash Photos of People.  I will be leading that session and we will share best and worst practices for flash photos of people using a variety of solutions for hot shoe flash.  We will do a studio flash session at a later date, but this one will benefit (I hope) everyone.  Bryan will be the talent scout for this session and will be selecting volunteer models for each shot sequence.  The plan is to tether the camera live to Lightroom and project the images on the wall/screen as they are shot so we can discuss the lighting effects and attributes.  We will do model releases to protect the rights of all of our volunteers.  Members will be allotted a short period of time to make their own photographs in each sequence, so long as this is ok with the volunteer model.

6.  In our third session, I will be taking you through what I call Ross' Speedy Portrait Photo Touchup Workflow using Lightroom 3.6,  We'll use the tools in Lightroom to very quickly retouch some of the photos we shoot in section one.  It's going to be fun and empowering.  If you don't use Lightroom, the concepts will be consistent in other tools like Adobe Camera Raw.  You'll also see how using a grey card will dramatically simplify your colour control work.

7.  We will close with our Q&A, and recommended media section.  Please send me an email at with any recommendations you have for books, movies, DVDs etc.

Members with email addresses will also receive this post as an email.

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